THE STORY: On a balmy midsummer night in Hampshire, 1591, Queen Elizabeth is seated in a hillside gallery. She's overlooking a parade of some two hundred men and their torchbearers, carrying all manner of weaponry and ‘beastes’. But this is no ordinary cargo. They're the ostentatious offerings of her host and his kitchen, a sugary banquet of confectionary made to impress and please the Royal guest.

From jellies and curds, candied fruit and marzipan, to syllabubs and cream cheese: the delicacies would have been endless. Because for the Elizabethans, sugar was definitive social currency. Washed down with sweet wine and a healthy dose of witty conversation, these dainty nibbles became so important that a whole new dinner course was born: the Sugar Collation.

This cake is inspired by a number of recipes in Gervase Markham’s ‘The English Huswife’ (1615). It takes the allure of Tudor sweetmeats - light spices and boozy fruit, nuts and crystallised ginger – and modernises them with contemporary baking: moist sponge, rich cream cheese icing and deliciously beautiful display.   

CAKE DETAILS

Size – 22cm, 18cm + 12cm
No. of Guests – 150
Sponge – Spiced Carrot & Pistachio
Filling –  Cream Cheese Buttercream
Icing – Cream Cheese Buttercream
Allergies – contains eggs, dairy, gluten and traces of nuts